WASHINGTON — The Keystone Beef Marketing Network and the Deshler Farmers Elevator Company, Henry County, Ohio, were two recipients of 110 grants to agricultural producers and rural businesses announced by the USDA May 1.
The Keystone Beef Marketing Network, a non-profit organization that helps Pennsylvania beef producers market their livestock, received a $300,000 Value-Added Producer Grant.
In addition to marketing, the beef marketing organization also provides financing programs, consultation on health programs, breeding and vaccination programs.
In addition to ensuring an ongoing profitable market for beef producers, the project will also impact the local feedlot operators, auction barn owners, processors and consumers.
Deshler Farmers Elevator Company received a $65,000 grant.
The co-op will use the $65,000 grant to conduct a feasibility study to determine the profitability of building a container loading facility used to export non-GMO (genetically modified) and specialty soybeans to overseas markets.
Deshler Farmers Elevator Company currently markets soybeans harvested from within a 25- to 30-mile radius. They sell to truck markets within a 50-mile radius and rail markets encompassing the Eastern United States. The co-op estimates that, in addition to increasing value to its members, the proposed container loading facility has the potential to add 4-6 new jobs.
“Rather than selling their soybeans strictly on the local commodity market, Deshler Elevator Cooperative members may now have the ability to access more lucrative overseas specialty soybean markets,” said USDA Ohio Rural Development State Director Tony Logan. “Many overseas buyers prefer identity-preserved, non-GMO beans and they are more than willing to pay a premium price for premium quality.”
Selection of grants were targeted toward applicants that will help create jobs and develop new products.